From C to A in 5 days

Every student wants to have good grades. Every parent wants his child to be A+ students without loosing creativity and joyfulness. In this blog we plan to give some insights on how this can be done. This article is probably the first in series of planned posts that will be generated as we prepare materials for a new course.

The real key to study is not just speedreading or memory tools, but a much wider range of skills. The first time I realized that was when Anna announced she can turn any C- student to A+ student in 5 days. I was reasonably sceptical, but over course of several months I have seen enough evidence to start to believe it. Naturally I asked her how she did it. The answer was a bit unexpected. While she did teach them some basic stuff that enable memorization, the key approach was different. “I teach them to approach the school subjects like you approach theme” she said. “Wait, what?”. In the following discussion Anna underlined the principles. I will try to summarize some of them below.

Developing curiosity

The first issue is developing curiosity. Most subjects for most students are so boring that they do not care any more. However the same subjects come to life under deeply engaging teachers. To develop curiosity we explain in really “cool” terms why the subject matters. Apparently over years Anna heard so many “little known facts” from me, that by now she can make any subject interesting.

Building confidence

To develop confidence the student is asked to complete several tasks that he finds easy. Then the student is given a key method to solve a task he used to find hard. Under the teacher’s supervision the student obviously solves the task. At this point the teacher explains that the student can solve any task if he finds the right “key” or strategy. At this point the student stops learning, and starts hacking the system. It is fun and extremely effective, since we already have most of the “hacks” available in various online sources.

Generating a plan

Another key component to success is a clear plan to reaching this success. Without such a plan it very hard to organize everything and stay focused. The teacher sits with the student and develops a strategy of how to organize the time, in which order to learn material, how the material builds up into a reasonable body of knowledge and what understanding of the knowledge will satisfy the students curiosity without challenging his confidence.

Follow-up

While 5 meetings typically generate the framework for success, a long-term follow-up ensures the success. No time consuming teaching is done at that point – only a short tip here and there – ensures that the student can adapt his newly found skills in changing environment.

Plus, it is always fun to know that you turned someone’s learning experience into success story.

This is one of Anna’s little secret. She is a genius teacher. I do not even pretend I can copy her methods. However, I am trying to analyse how she succeeds so that you will also be able to do the same.

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